DALLAS — For months, UFC president Dana White has promised that when Jon Jones booked his next fight, the former light heavyweight champion would not compete in a main event.
White’s stance came from Jones being pulled from UFC 200 last July after he tested positive for a banned substance, which happened just over a year after he was yanked from another event due to a hit-and-run accident that ultimately cost him the light heavyweight title.
Despite his guarantee that Jones wouldn’t headline his next fight, White has apparently had a change of heart.
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On Thursday, White confirmed to FOX Sports’ Andy Nesbitt that Jones would face current light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in the main event for UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim.
“D.C. and Jon Jones will be the main event,” White said. “I’m bringing in [Jimi] Manuwa to fight on the undercard there so if anything happens, Jimi Manuwa will be ready to go and step in for somebody falling out if that happens.”
There is a condition attached to Cormier and Jones headlining the upcoming card in July.
White said that top five ranked light heavyweight slugger Jimi Manuwa would also be booked on the UFC 214 card in case either Jones or Cormier are unable to compete.
There’s no word yet on who Manuwa would face, but he has been asking for a showdown with former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua on the card.
As of now, nothing is set other than Manuwa being booked for the same card as Cormier vs. Jones to ensure the main event will move forward even if one of the fighters is forced out of the fight at the last minute.
UFC 214 goes down from Anaheim on July 29 with more fights expected to be added to the card in the coming days.